Wednesday, November 21, 2007

She Calls It The London:
Adult age play's real problem in Second Life

Mean girls wants to talk harsh reality of age play. But while they are being harsh, I can say that they aren't being as real here as they could be. They need to get out more, or maybe get in more. To be really harsh, means seeing some of the darker corners of SL.

Let me be really harsh here. I am an escort on second life. A pixel prostitute. I do interactive pornography for money. Often. I am also pretty well known for being a no limits cyber escort. I will do anything that won't get me banned in Second Life, provided my fees are paid.

I've been asked for snuff, bang bang, dolcett, incest, gang bangs, kidnapping, rape. I've done each of those things for a client at least once, and often more than once. I've never been asked for age play. Not once. This does not mean it is not out there, and I do run into the boundaries of it, but age play, qua age play, isn't really the problem.

Instead, as the first part talks about, my observation is that a far larger problem in second life is the quest by a small number of men to exploit adult survivors of sexual trauma. I've seen this first hand, I have to deal with it, on average once a week where a client is clearly interested, not in escorting, nor even in finding an rl girlfriend or co-conspirator in sexual escapades, both of which are more than fine, but with finding a woman whose self-esteem and sense of self-worth have been destroyed by sexual trauma, and exploiting that need for his own profit.

One of my first experiences in second life with this, that I understood as such was when I was working at a club, and another club's owner came to me recuriting escorts for his. Since the club I worked at was not exclusive, I had no problems making referals. He made it clear he was looking, not for escorts but for girls who needed to fuck, for any amount of money. He was going to turn around and mark up their services about 400%. When I refused to cooperate, he said "so long stupid," among other insulting things. After this I realized that several other times I had been confronted with the same thing, but had not understood what was being asked, or rather the subtext of what was being asked.

Not long there afterwards I wandered through the "red Light District" for the first time, and got an even more forceful understanding of what many of the men there were looking for. The tangle of things that made me realize this is hard to explain, but it started with the obsession with verification I found among men unwilling to pay what would have been ordinary tips for stripping in the club I was working. The demand for skype calls, even a "cam peak" before paying even 300L for :30 of sexual activity. Even as a rather beginning escort, I was making far more for :15.

This told me that this was not seen by many of the men picking up girls as a source for interactive pornography and electronic companionship, but as a dating service.

However it was what was being asked for as sexual services that was even more interesting: degradation. Without exception I was asked to perform large blocks of degrading acts for almost no money. Or at least, money that would not support having the kinds of skins, shapes, clothes, and toys that a high quality sexual experience on SL would generally entail.

Now on one hand, I respect desire. All desire, even those which are untenable and unacceptable. The creation of a place where people who have those needs to play them out is part of the reality of virtual reality, and I would not move a finger to remove it nor could it be prevented. While Amsterdam needs to be looked at for various reasons, if people have needs, they have needs.

On the other hand, I also recognize that a close cousin of needful desire is often sickness. We must eroticize children, because the bonding mechanism is there, because they are the ultimate result of the erotic union of a man and a woman, because our sexuality is bound up in the protecting and protection of childhood. To be a healthy sexual adult is to be able to bond with children, to have the sense of our childhood playfulness fulfilled by sexuality, and the ability to protect our loved ones with the saem fiercness we protect children with. These are healthy. Sticking a cock in a 6 month old baby or 9 year old, never is.

One form of proof of desire is the willingness to defy other forms of visceral revulsion or fear in the name of desire. For example, a public display of affection by two people says that they care more for the touch of each other's lips than what on lookers might feel about them. Public humiliation as a sing of devotion to a sports team is so common as to be a cliche. Proposing, in public, on his knees, a man may be making a spectacle of himself, but he is also saying how much love has carried him past concerns for his public image. This is useful when you ask him to go get tampons from the store, because well, you just don't feel like moving at that particular moment.

One kind of revulsion is "disgust," that somewhat primitive, and perhaps universalized, mechanisms to recognize the potency of biologically active fluids. Like infected water, like food that has been sitting out, like excrement. The willingness to play with bodily fluids is a crucial part of showing that the barrier that a person puts up to the world is open. This is an analog of what has to happen for impregnation: the barriers of the immune system that keep out "other," must be lowered for "him."

But a close cousin of this is the break down completely of the ability to say "no." That break down is generally, and some would say almost always, associated with sexual trauma in childhood, and that trauma is then exploited in the survivor adult. On one hand, the only way to live with this kind of trauma is to integrate it: to be able to accept a space in life where the traumatized child comes out to play. I don't mean this in the sense of donning a child avatar and engaging in scenes of child sexual activity, but the wounds of it, and the need to be dominated and overwhelmed b it, but in the context of being able to come up out of that place, and back into the full possession of an adult self. It is like men playing boys games: it is a need, and it is healthy when he can come back up out of it.

The quest for women who are not able to integrate by compartmentalizing, is the real age play problem on second life. It is one that is not amenable to simple banning of search words like "Lolita," or even banning child avatars. It is not bannable, because it is not clearly divisible from what everyone does: play out a mixture of healthy and perverse in a search for equilibrium of spirit.

There is deeper to do into this world, and I will soon do it. But I want to talk, for a moment about one of the victims of age play hysteria and also age play denial: legitimate working through of adolescent traumas, which is a world apart from childhood traumatization. Let's be really honest here, a great deal of the age play hysteria is by people who are hysterical about teenage sex, and know that the best way to make people opposed to teenage sex, is to drop it in the same vat as the rape of children. This is done by equivocation. "Minor," a legal technical term, becomes equated with "child," an emotional term. Teenage sex becomes "sex with children." The grey area is exploited: sex with unmarried 17 year olds is equated with sex with 12 year olds. And so on. Even people who know better play these games. Teenagers need special protections because they are minors and because they are not mature, but also precisely because they are not children. Children seldom seek out sex on their own, as sex, where as almost all teenagers do. I did, and

You
Did
Too.

Consider my story Midnight Eclipse. In this story the main character is practicing late before an audition at the ballet studio. She leaves, begins to shower. Another student, practicing in another room, comes down to the shower. They are both naked, he gets errect. She comes to an understanding of the components of desire, tries to entice him. The don't have sex. Yes, yes, yes it's like a symbolist opera. Nothing happens, then she dies.

However, I think all of us have memories of teenage and people who we wish we could have had sex with at that time. I do, and

You
Do
Too.

We also go the other way, or at least many of us do. We imagine what it would have been like to have met someone in teenage, and been high school sweet hearts and perhaps Romeo and Juliet lovers.

These are both very normal and very healthy parts of an adult libido. Both to look back at moments before we were sexually competent and wish for another chance, and to project back to what it would have been like had we met "the one" only much earlier and had years more happiness with them.

Both of these are completely illegal in second life. They have nothing to do with paedophilia, or even the kind of sexual predatory behavior that adults engage in with teenagers, trying to take advantage of the minor status, inexperience and social inferiority of teenagers to fulfill adult sexual desires. I, to repeat, have never been asked for age play. I have often been asked to juvenilize my personality, my look, my diction, my sex habits, my avatar, for the sexual fulfillment of clients. It's endemic. It is not always healthy.

So we have to realize that bans cut two ways, that they often create problems, as well as solve them, and bans which are a vat of conflicting rationalizations and social engineering, often ban far more good than they prevent evil. But as importantly they make us over look real evils. The exploitation of adult survivors of sexual trauma is endemic in our society. I will never have anything to do in second life with people who are looking for that in me. They just can't offer me enough to expose myself to it. And this is completely overlooked in our debate on age play, or is swept up in a completely hysterical hatred of all playing out of inner darkness in any form. Both of these extremes are unhealthy.

5 comments:

  1. The lack of comments about this one amuses me. Maybe it's just the timing of the post. I tend to think the:

    You
    Did
    Too

    scared people off. I've been asked for most of the items that you listed, but in my case, I've been asked specifically for ageplay many times-- all before the ban and strangely not after though. A few of the items on that list really squick me out! I'll know where to send them now! :-)

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  2. The ban has been effective in driving direct requests underground.

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  3. You
    Did
    Too.

    I certainly did. *puts hands up* guilty as charged.

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  4. It is illegal to kill someone. It is legal to roleplay it.

    It is legal for two sixteen year olds to have sex in most American states.

    It is illegal to role play it.

    As the sage says:

    "What's up wit that?"

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  5. Fascinating. Thought provoking. On so many levels.

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